REVIEW: DEMONSTEALER – “This Burden Is Mine”
Demonstealer is a solo project of Sahil Makhija, one of the more popular metal artists from India, who also plays in Demonic Resurrection, Reptilian Death and a couple of other bands along with his own cooking show. His first album came out 8 years ago, and he has been busy with his other projects ever since. Demonstealer’s new album ‘This Burden is Mine’, being released about a month from now (March 25th), is a modern sounding melodic death metal album with some influences from other genres as well.
‘This Burden is Mine’ leaves you wanting coherence. It is an example of trying to assemble too many ideas together and ending up with a mellow package. Sure, there are several sections where it hints to songwriting that would lead to somewhere, but then it breaks away into a different idea altogether. The theme in general surrounds around personal struggles and a heartfelt one at that.
The album starts off heavy with “How the Mighty Have Fallen” which features the legendary George Kollias on drums and Nishith Hegde, the guitarist from Demonic Resurrection. Blast beats rain down and open into a groove riff that is reminiscent of this metalcore track I can’t put my finger on. The track has incessant drumming throughout, over growls and clean vocals alike, except for this slower mid-section when Sahil’s cleans precipitates the temporary sparse space in the track. Everything from here on loses flow. “An Unforgiving Truth” is the longest track of the record, which starts off as a heavy metal track with clean vocals and slow tempo and suddenly shifts gear to a monotonous death metal track. Here’s another example of not giving enough time for a piece. “When The Hope Withers And Dies” is a groove/death metal track with a classic metal guitar solo, breakdowns, clean vocals, symphonies and many different things thrown in without allowing one idea to evolve. The story repeats with the next two tracks as well. “The Failures of Man” and “Where Worlds End” are quite typical of the modern melodeath sound albeit with a slow tempo, studded with some electronic and symphonic overtones and some oriental sounding melodies and overtones at places as well. “Where Worlds End” has a power metal tinge to it as well when it comes to the vocals and the guitar solo. The final track “From Rubble and Ruin” is more traditional metal in the first half of the track when it comes to song structure, but ends the album in the same heavy manner that it started.
There is much more clean vocals than I would like for the music that accompanies it. There are too many ideas that seem hurried, sometimes even in the same track. The production is very clean, as expected from a standard modern death metal album. There are places where I expected something fresh and interesting, but it gets punctuated by a generic riff or an unnecessary tempo change. I have no complaints about the execution and performances with the instruments, all of it sounded solid.‘This Burden is Mine’ sounds more like a collection of singles rather than an album with consistency or flow, but with glimpses of talent here and there.